• Mongolia
2 - 4 weeks
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals
What's Not Included
Dec 20, 2019
Oct 25, 2019
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Our programs work with nomadic communities in the Tavan Bogd mountain region, where villagers still live in traditional gers, circular buildings constructed of a wooden lattice and sheep felt. Mongolia has the lowest population density of any country in the world (there are just 3.2 people per square mile) and more horses than humans. Most Mongolians learn to ride horseback at a young age, and some ethnic groups still use trained golden eagles for hunting.

Travel to Mongolia and reconsider your definition of rustic. You may lack showers and clean clothes, but you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring surroundings. Mongolia’s nomadic culture and expansive, untouched landscapes appeal to the hardiest of travelers and the most determined of adventurers.

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Popular Programs

Off the Map: Mongolia

Join an epic journey from the lush Mongolian steppes of the Tuul River Valley to the snow-capped mountains of Tavan Bogd. Explore untamed lands and trek through the remote countryside. Leave your modern contraptions at home and discover what life is like without electricity, running water, or paved roads as you travel from ger to ger. Join our host families as they milk the yaks in the morning, bring in the horses at dusk, and collect prairie chips for the fire at night.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Radically different

The best part of travelling with rustic to Mongolia was that I really felt I was completely immersed in the culture and in the experience itself.
The landscape, the food, the locals, the weather, the tradition and the staff made Mongolia have a taste completely different from everything that I tried before.
The staff made sure we were entertained and that the group was getting along well. On top of that, each evening we would have a deep conversation amongst the group guided by the staff to make sure we were making the most out of the experience we were having for our personal growth. That’s why I felt that this experience was really eye-opening for me.
Since Mongolia is a country that is difficult to visit by yourself, I was really glad that we had an itinerary that really gave a glimpse of what Mongolia really is.
Overall, a unique experience that now has become a treasured memory.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Food can be a main factor on making you feel travel sickness.
You eat a lot of meat every day and very little veggies (pratically no fruit).
The first thing I was craving for when I got home was big chunk of watermelon!
42 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

It takes a special kind of person to go to Mongolia

I chose this trip at random. From the pictures and short blurb on the Rustic Pathways website, Off the Map: Mongolia seemed like the greatest adventure, requiring the most adventurous spirit while providing the most rustic accommodations. I have no regrets. On my trip the seven other students I traveled with and our three leaders quickly became a family. We had fun living in the moment and seeing where our three week adventure would take us. This trip has been one of the most accurately, culturally immersive experiences I have engaged in as a student traveler. The homestays, while not what I had anticipated, were exciting. We lived in yurts--or traditional gers-- with the other members of our trip. These homes were set up by families who were willing to host the group as a whole, not the individual. We ate all of our meals together and spent all freetime bonding with the parents and their children, or the greater town population. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime trip and lifelong friendships, Off the Map: Mongolia is waiting for you.

48 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program


I had an amazing time on the trip to Mongolia and met some lifelong friends. We spent most of our time staying in gers in more remote villages, but we spent multiple nights in a guest house called the Lotus, which I really enjoyed. The highlight of the trip for me was the Buddhist temple or the camel riding. I enjoyed the temple because it was unlike anything I’ve seen before and I enjoyed the camel riding because I like animals

45 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Off The Map: Mongolia

I think I can speak for everyone who went on this trip, in saying that we had an amazing time, and we all had so much fun doing it. We were able to see things that people will rarely get a chance to see, experiencing new cultures, and the landscapes they have settled in. Future trip goers will be astonished by the rugged landscapes, and learn from the people who live in them. I wish I could stay there longer and would love to go back.

What would you improve about this program?
More time out in the West, and less in UB. I felt that we did not need all the time at the beginning and the end of the trip in UB.
62 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program


This program taught me that I can mentally over come anything. When it's cold, you haven't showered for 15 days, you wear the same pants and shirt for 3 weeks, and eat the same thing everyday, you start to learn what you truly find happiness in. Not only do you learn about yourself, but you learn to truly love yourself for who you are, good and bad.

What would you improve about this program?
Less down time.
68 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Land of Sunny Skies

This trip was one of the most amazing trips I've ever been on. The staff did an amazing job of making it fun and meaningful. They did an amazing job of always keeping us engaged in our activities and getting us to open up to each other. I really connected with all of the other people on trip thanks to the nightly activities that the staff did. I loved the long road trips and all the hiking. A large portion of the trip was horseback riding through the Mongolian countryside, and it was so beautiful. Seeing all of the amazing sights on horseback is a memory that I really cherish. If I could do this trip again I would in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
more preparation for the service we did. We taught English in an orphanage/school, and talking about what we were going to do, and what lessons we should teach would have been nice.
59 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Off the Map: Mongolia

I traveled with Rustic Pathways in the summer of 2013 on their Off the Map: Mongolia program and felt thoroughly impacted, inspired, and changed by the experience. It was a one of a kind experience that was by no stretch of the imagination glamorous- we spent most of the trip traveling in a Soviet era van or on horseback, and living with nomadic, traditional families- but it was authentic, and left me feeling fascinated by the country, people and culture. The best part for me was meeting and experiencing the hospitality of Mongolian nomads, who were happy to share their way of life with us foreigners. When we arrived at one family's ger camp in a rain storm, they welcomed us into their family ger for the night, preventing us from having to set up our tents in the rain. The ger- a one roomed, sturdy tent-like structure that is probably smaller than your bedroom, made up their house and living quarters in entirety, but they were kind enough to share this personal space with us- complete strangers. Overall, I would recommend this trip to anyone who is adventurous, and interested in learning about a completely different way of life. It will challenge your understanding of "happiness", and will leave you fascinated with this beautiful country.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that made me sad about this program is that it wasn't longer... I wanted to stay the entire summer! It would be cool to offer a homestay option.
61 people found this review helpful.

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